A RIGID CHOPPER WITH MX DNA
A Rigid Chopper With MX DNA
“Ifound this bike in a dream. Or I should say the inspiration came to me in a dream, a bad dream,” The Chop Shop’s Harley Van Kirk recounts. I don’t know what his idea of a bad dream is, but if this is as bad as his nightmares get, he’s doing okay. Many things look better with an ass on the end of them; “bad” is one of them and “badass” definitely describes El Shovelle here. It’s a shovel-powered rigid chopper dripping with a dirt track MX vibe. Blending two very different realms of the custom world, bikes like this are growing MX choppers into their own subgenre of the choppersmith’s art.
Originally built to compete in the 2011 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, it was designed again a few years ago and turned into what you see now. “The most challenging part of this build was probably trying to turn what I had originally drawn out on paper into what you all see here today,” he continues. “A few things changed out of necessity, but for the most part we ended up with a pretty cool little ride. The other main challenge was the time constraint. I had the chassis done about nine months ahead of time, but for some reason I decided to wait eight months to get after the rest of the build. So needless to say, Turbo Mike and I spent the better part of the month leading up to the AMD show living at the shop. Nothing like burning the midnight oil. Isn’t procrastination great?”
For starters, its gas tank started life as a stock Sporty unit, which was then narrowed 3/8 inch, retunneled 1 inch, given a flat bottom, mounted with brass grommetry, and given a bung machined to accept the Pro-tek MX cap.
Much like my ex, the Narrow Glide front end is quite a piece of work. The similarities end in court though. I don’t have a restraining order against the forks. El Shovelle’s stock Narrow Glide front end was filled, shaved, and smoothed. A custom headlight mount was machined and welded in to accept the Crime Scene headlamp, and the mount also acts as the steering stop. The lower legs were shaved and polished as well. The Brass Belt Hugger tag bracket was fabbed and mounted to accept the Crime Scene tail lamp.
The Chop Shop fabbed up the brass-plated fender struts to support the modified and slammed Twisted Choppers fender. “Diamond” Dave Miller then laid the Euro Race-themed black and gold paint scheme. The Cnc-machined solid brass crossbar embellished with the bike’s given name (El Shovelle) was the final piece placed on the bike.
All of these handcrafted pieces are what make El Shovelle a sweet chopper. The MX feel from Van Kirk’s dream is now a reality, and he’s pretty happy with the way it turned out. SC